As competition in the smartphone space heats up, China-based OEM Meizu is sinking its teeth into the market with new entry-level offerings.
Close on the heels of unveiling the Meizu m3 handset - which costs only $92 - in April, the company took the wraps off the Meizu m3s on Monday, June 13, in China.
The m3s is essentially the metal variant of the m3, but with a fingerprint scanner and larger battery in tow. While it has similar design sensibilities to the m3 and several characteristics of the handset are similar to that of the latter, Meizu asserts that the former is "completely different" from its sibling.
"The MEIZU m3s is an alternative option for youngsters who are seeking a nice, compact phone that performs well and we believe both it and the m3 offer the best choice in affordable, easy to use, high specification smartphones," noted Li Nan, the company's vice president.
The company released the m3s because it felt that different consumers have different smartphone requirements even for a $100 handset. Meizu realized this soon after it launched the m3, which was well received by consumers. The company took into consideration consumer needs and as a result, launched the m3s.
For the m3s, Meizu has deployed a 360-degree sandblasting technique to offer a soft-to-touch texture to the handset. The new entry-level handset boasts a metal body and measures 141.9 x 69.9 x 8.3 millimeters (5.6 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches). The smartphone weighs 138 grams (4.9 ounces), making it 6 grams (0.2 ounces) heavier than the m3. The m3s is heavier possibly because of the bigger 3,020 mAh battery it houses, compared to the 2,870 mAh one on the m3.
The Meizu m3s sports a 2.5D 5-inch HD screen with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. Under the hood, the smartphone houses an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor, which clocks in at 1.5 GHz. The device also boasts Mali-T860 GPU.
The m3s smartphone will come in two RAM options: 2 GB or 3 GB for the 16 GB and 32 GB models, respectively.
The Meizu m3s also packs in a 5-megapixel selfie camera and a 13-megapixel rear-facing snapper. It supports Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and 4G LTE. The handset has two nano-SIM card slots and one of these can be used as a microSD card reader (up to 128 GB).
The Meizu smartphone will come preloaded with the older Android 5.1 Lollipop, which may disappoint many consumers. It will have the Flyme OS UI running on top. The m3s also boasts a fingerprint sensor on the front, which offers a 0.2 second unlock time. Tempered glass covers the sensor.
The Meizu m3s is currently available only in China in three hues - gray, silver and rose gold. The 16 GB model is priced at RMB 699 or $109, whereas the 32 GB variant will set consumers back by $140 or RMB 899. The handset will go on sale from June 18 in the region and may possibly make its way to other countries in the near term.